A Manchester Muslim group has responded to claims that Jewish businesses would be targeted in the city following the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham posted a message condemning the actions of Hamas and also called out anyone celebrating ‘acts of terrorism’.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham posted: “The killing of hundreds of innocent people by acts of terrorism is something that should be denounced and never be celebrated on the streets of Manchester.

“We know people in our Jewish community will be deeply worried about the events in Israel and we will be supporting them at this time.

“We deplore any attempt to threaten Jewish businesses and will ensure the strongest action is taken against those that do or carry out any acts of hate or intimidation aimed at the Jewish community.”

Fesl Raza Khan of the Manchester Muslim Community (MMC) said they were forced to speak over the statement and called for clarification on any incidents.

He said: “Condemnation of the killing of innocent people by acts of terrorism is quite right. It is with regret that it has not come sooner. What we are particularly alarmed by is the reference of threats to Jewish businesses and intimidation of the Jewish community.

“We seek urgent clarification as to the nature of these threats, by whom and when. We, as Mancunians, never have and never will not tolerate this. We are a large and diverse collection of peoples and many of us have friends and family in the region.

“We all feel worried at this time and require direction and support from our leaders, especially our Mayor at this time.

“Mentioning the Jewish community in isolation, bereft of context, feeds into the false narrative that this is a religious conflict. It is not. Any attempt to do so will only divide our city and communities for the foreseeable future.”

Fesl Raza said people of all faiths had denounced killings.

He added: “We Mancunians do not care about colour, creed or religion. Instead we maintain a proud tradition of standing up for human rights, natural justice, the rule of law, and sanctity of life.

“It is these very values and our history, whether it be Peterloo or the Suffragettes, that compels us to stand with the victim over the aggressor, with the occupied over the occupier and with the vulnerable over the powerful.

“Your statement risks drawing a false symmetry, where there is none. We ask you to assure the other communities who have loved ones at risk. We will seek assurances that we will receive all necessary support at this sensitive time.”